Monday, October 29, 2007

A Quick Response to Bob [Jay]

This is in response to Bob's previous post and the comments that followed.

I do not share any of your optimism about RG. All of your arguments are based on the belief that you can trust him to mean what he says about his intentions in nominating judges. There is no moral basis for this trust as RG is not morally opposed to abortion, he just has a vague idea about the type of judges he would like to nominate. I also am inclined to find his early shifts in public message on abortion as an indication that he is campaigning and as full of nonsense as anyone.

That said, Hillary made it clear at her recent address to Planned Parenthood that her first day in office will be dedicated to an all out assault on all of the progress that was made in policy under Bush, as limited as that is. So I am in the position of holding her at her word and believing she will do what she says. That means that my objective is to make certain that I do everything in my ability not to allow Hillary into office through the power of vote that I have been given. I would vote for RG if forced to not because I believe for one moment that we can predict what he will do, but because HC has dedicated herself to being an active enemy to all I hold dear. I could not in good conscience allow my actions to assist her in aqcuiring the office that will help her maximize the damage that she can do to the unborn. RG is largely an unkown with elements I despise. Hillary has promised to be a force for the opposition from day one.

I find the idea of voting for RG just slightly less detestable than the idea of doing anything that would ultimately help HC. Now I will resume praying that this is not actually the future choice that we are facing. It is way too early to crown either of them the candidate. This time last cycle it looked like Howard Dean was on his way to a face off versus Bush. Things change. And HC v. RG is terrible for all of us who cherish the sanctity of life.


  1. Jay,
    This post is pretty much as I feel. I know that people who are political activists are already talking about the General Election when the primaries have not even been held yet. So, right now, is the time to fast and pray that our choice is NOT HC versus RG next November.

    Having said that, I understand and agree that, if we are presented with this awful choice, a moral vote would be for RG since we are always to "limit evil" whenever we can. However, I also think that a legitimate vote is to not vote for either candidate if that is how your conscience directs you.

    Can you see that I'm still conflicted? Josh always tells me that if Father Pavone and Father West can't convince me then he is not even going to try. :-) It's not that I'm not convinced by the idea of "limiting evil," I just don't think we should be spending as much time on this debate as we should be spending on winning the primary for someone who is a better pro-life candidate. Because I think to vote for RG in the primary is participating in evil!

    Of course, I can admit that I might be naive that we can effect such an outcome. Maybe, we can't, but God can!

  2. I hear what you're saying, Jay. It's not that I particularly trust RG. It's just that I know he will want to be re-elected, and I think there would be an outcry if he turned his back on every single promise he made to the pro-family voters. So if 2-3 pro-abort SCOTUS judges are replaced by RG, all I really need to hope for is that he picks ONE good one, that will properly interpret the constitution. If he does, Roe goes back to the states and we divide and conquer.

    Worst-case scenario: RG only picks pro-abort SCOTUS judges, and we did the best we could with what we had to work with. That's where you and I agree. Anything to keep HC from the White House will be preferable as she is worse than any of her opponents. Enjoying the dialogue...

  3. Josh,

    What you are not factoring in is that if he wins the nomination and the general election without really seeking pro-life support, then he will not be tremendously afraid of "offending" us. If he gets through the primary to the general as a pro-choice candidate, pro-life is exposed as a weak voting block with no threat. That is disaster as far as any candidate being afraid of repercussions.


  4. Jay, I completely agree with your response. That's why, in my original post, I tried to make it clear that "as a pro-life advocate and voter, I will do everything in my power to defeat Rudy Giuliani in the Republican primary process. I will do this for many reasons, not the least of which is his stance on abortion."

    Perhaps I didn't offer enough detail about what that means. My only point was that, barring the defeat of RG in the primary process, the Democratic alternative would be infinitely worse.

    I take the proclamations of the NY Times (and others) regarding the demise of the "religious right," as nothing more than another way to push an agenda. My prayer is that, when push comes to shove, conservatives will reject RG in the primaries. Pro-life advocates should be at the center of that effort.

  5. Bob,

    I know and I like your post. My comment was more aimed at the idea that RG could be relied on to be anything. I am not comfortable at all with voting for RG based on any assumptions of what he would do given the opportunity to appoint judges. RG is simply unreliable. His stance is not principled and as such is not to be trusted.

    Clinton and others do have a principled stand however. Clinton specifically is a passionate pro-choice advocate and vocal about her intentions to reverse executive orders and appoint Roe friendly judges. I think it is right to oppose her with all the means we have available. I think it is unwise to do so based on what we believe Rudy to be.

    I also believe that RG winning the ticket is the sounding of the bell for reorganization of the pro-life movement. A Republican candidate can win the presidency theoretically by being pro-security/pro-choice/homosexual friendly and possibly picking up California or some borderline blue states. CA is a big piece of the puzzle and some Republicans (Ahnuld and RG for example)are trying this format out. IF they win with this tactic, then the pro-life movement is in the political redesign mode. When they can win without you they will do so. Remember how hard Bush worked for certain groups in his original election. When he one without them Rove crafted a plan that "energized the base." That is code with, forget the voting blocs we don't need, just get all our friends that put us in the office back.

    I am not altogether convinced this would be terrible in the long run. I don't know what we can be, but I am just wildly optimistic enough to believe that we can be more than this.

  6. Yeah, I think I agree with everything Jay and Bob said. I could have clarified my position better. My vote for RG in the general would be more of a vote AGAINST HC than anything else. I've just many pro-lifers make comments saying that RG is just as bad as HC, and I simply don't think that's true, a point that you have communicated better than I did.

    I especially appreciated Jay's comment on the pro-life movement needing to go into political "redesign" mode if RG wins the primary. I tend to think that we don't reevaluate our efforts often enough, and if that assumption is correct, then we have fallen into a dangerous cycle.

    What do you guys think about the idea that not voting for any candidate in a RG vs. HC general is a legitimate decision?

  7. Josh asked what Jay and Bob had to say about not voting for RG (v. HC) in a general election as being a "legitimate" decision.

    Josh, "Legitimate" or "moral"?

  8. Dr. Lyn, I'm not sure. However you meant it when you said in your first comment, "I also think that a legitimate vote is to not vote for either candidate if that is how your conscience directs you." If "moral" is a better term than "legitimate," that's fine with me. :)

  9. Josh,

    Legitimate and moral in this instance are tricky because it really gets into specifics of how we understand our moral duties, conflicts, and obligations.

    It is within the realm of legitmate argument to say that a vote represents a personal moral endorsement of a cnadidate at which point it becomes impossible to vote for RG and be consistently pro-life. Others like Scott and Bob feel very strongly their first duty is to limit evil and if voting for a candidate like RG does so then they are merely using the means available to fulfill that duty. I am a bit conflicted on this issue as I do intuit a level of mioral endorsement with my vote, but also think President Hillary is likely to do great harm to the pro-life movement. Therefore, I consider reasonable measures to prevent her from taking office as vital.

    I think that we have to be careful in thinking that one side of thsi discussion is the good guys versus the bad guys. I do think that if we have a chance to prevent the Democratic party from taking hold of the presidency then the protest vote is dangerous. Do we potentially endanger lives to prove a point to the Republicans? I think we can both work to prevent a truly disastrous and passionately pro-choice president from taking office while reevaluating our relationship with the GOP and crafting new election strategies.

    I think that we were slow to react to the change in climate we are seeing, but I will post on this later. I feel it has as mucht o do with the reelection of BUsh, the war in Iraq, and the new dynamic that is playing out that is hopefully a temporary thing.


  10. I totally get where you're coming from, Jay. I don't think it's a good guy vs. bad guy thing. On the contrary, I appreciate how tough it is to plug one's nose and vote for someone who is pro-choice. Dr. Lyn and I are good friends and we've been having dialogues on the RG vs. HC debate for months now. (and I'm sure we'll continue.) I apologize if I came off as confrontational, because that's not my motive. I'm just trying to understand the terms better. You helped clarify "legitimate" and "moral," Jay. Thanks!

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  12. Josh,

    I sensed no confrontational tone at all. The warning about framing the argument in terms of good guys v. bad guys is aimed at those who would accuse good Christian friends of mine of being the bad guys because of a difference of understanding our moral duties and how we approach them in election cycles. For those who intuit moral endorsement, I understand why you can not vote for certain candidates. For those who see their first duty is to limit evil using the tools they have available, I understand why you vote for otherwise objectionable people. For those of us struggling with how to approach this coming election and weighing our personal moral actions versus the greater good of our community all the while lacking God's omniscience to see how this will all play out, we need to pray.

    Always a pleasure. ;-)


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